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Sclerotherapy is an injection treatment used to eliminate small to medium size varicose veins and “spider” veins. “Spider” veins are superficial telangiectasias, tiny vessels that are red, blue or purple in color. The majority of these veins present as a cosmetic problem.


A very small needle is used to inject a sclerosing solution into ta varicose or “spider” vein. Different solutions are used depending on the type of vein. Different strengths of the solutions are used based on the size of the vessel. Once injected the cells that line the vein wall (endothelium) will become irritated, inflamed and damaged. External compression is applied using cotton balls, tape and support hose. The compression causes the vein walls to seal together and the vein. When healing is complete the vein is no longer visible. The process is very similar to how your body heals a bad bruise. “Spider” veins do not have any useful function and eliminating them will not affect your circulation. Reducing or eliminating varicose veins can improve your circulation and symptoms of heaviness, aching and fatigue.


The number of treatments needed varies from patient to patient depending on the type, size and quantity of veins to be treated. Varicose veins and “spider” veins may require multiple injection sessions. Subsequent treatments are usually scheduled every four to six week to allow time for the body to respond to the treatment. It is important to realize that the best results require patience. It takes time for your body to respond to the injections. It is important to follow the post-treatment instructions to optimize your results. Your body will continue to heal and “fade” injection sites for months after treatment. After your initial screening exam your doctor will give you an estimate as to the number of treatments that may be required. This is based on the doctor’s assessment, your history and expectations. You may end up needing fewer or more treatments than the surgeon estimated. It is important to discuss your expected outcomes with your doctor and to keep them realistic. Your doctor will do everything possible to meet or exceed your expectations.


Photographs will be taken before treatment is initiated. This helps to monitor your progress.Your legs will look worse before they look better. After the vein is damaged the body needs time to heal. Most people will notice a dramatic improvement approximately four weeks after their initial treatment. Maximal improvement often takes several months and several treatments.